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Friday, June 13, 2008

Anti-Great-Commission Policy?

A Conversation with Dr. Paul Foltz:

Dr. Paul Foltz recently commented on my blog “it's time for all Calvinist to band together and form a new convention.”

Which lead to the following responce that I am now posting...

Dr. Folts, I think you express the “Unspoken” desire of many, many, Calvinist in the State of Florida... I actually think that having only one Baptist Convention in any state is a bad idea... it would be like saying that we can only have one Baptist Church in any City/Town/Community.

How do you think all those who are apposed to the idea of a new convention in the state of Florida would feel if they were suddenly told, Ok we are only going to recognize The First Baptist Church of each City and all you other churches are going to have join First Baptist Church in order to remain in the SBC.

The current business model of allowing, for the most part, only one convention per state is just as restrictive to future growth as allowing only one Baptist Church per city... and of course the only reason for such a policy is control.

Which brings me to my next point... is it not this desire for control that is actually restricting the growth of the convention and according to the latest statistics actually shrinking the convention? And in this case is this not actually an Anti-Great-Commission Policy?

A few years ago the Alabama Baptist Convention had a slogan; “Start Something New!”... It was intended to encourage growth by encouraging individuals and congregations to start new churches. Why would the Alabama Baptist Convention wish to start new churches? Because everyone knows that new churches grow much faster than existing churches. Therefore “Start Something New!” is a Great Commission slogan... and those who oppose the starting of new state conventions are actually guilty of hindering the Great Commission in order to maintain control over their own turf.

So by now it should be clear to everyone that I firmly believe the starting of new state conventions would greatly impact the SBC in it's efforts to fulfill the Great Commission... and restore a measure of ballance to the SBC as no one group would be in absolute control over any state. It would give Baptist a choice... which in my opinion is a good thing for growth.

I would love to see this happen in every state, but in Florida very soon! But where to start? How does one actually go about starting a new State Convention? I am ready... but I am probably not the one who can rally the troops for such a great undertaking as this... Will God raise up men in the State of Florida and throughout the SBC to meet this challenge?

I honestly do not know... “nevertheless Father thy will be done”.



Anonymous said...

How about 3 regional fellowships bound together under the banner of the doctrines of grace, leaving each church independent and autonomous, yet cooperating for the common good/

DR. Paul W. Foltz

G. Alford said...

Dr Foltz,

I do not claim to know how we should proceed... perhaps three regional fellowship would be a good idea in state the size of Florida?

What I do know is that the current structure is not working... The Florida Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention are both in decline... And if we are to be “Great Commission Baptist” then we (our national and state conventions leaders) must get over this need to control what God is doing outside of the local congregation where we are members.

If there are a dozen Baptist churches of a particular theological strip who wish to form a fellowship in order to advance the cause of Christ and to better fulfill the Great Commission then the national and state leaders (as followers of Christ first and Southern Baptist second) should applaud their efforts.

That is what I am looking for... But then again, perhaps that is asking to much?

Anonymous said...

you should form a committee with Pastors AND in this area and model it after the Bible Baptist Fellowship of Springfield, MO , only with emphasis on Doctrines of Grace.

To see what is A Sovereign Grace Baptist, note the 4 posts on my Blog-Free Grace Preacher.
Yours by Divine Grace

Anonymous said...

Pastors And Preachers and elders, i meant to say.

Jon L. Estes said...

The most difficult bridges to cross in beginning anything like a new state convention or even a new association is:

1 - The short tenure of pastors who
have not earned a place to lead in such a way.

2 - The lack of information given to the church membership because of lack of desire to know or even deal with such issues. - We have enough trouble getting them to church consistently.

3 - The lack of funds and people to get the word out, travel around, have speaking engagements to share the issues and have open doors in churches to be heard.


When pastoring in PA myself and a few other concerned pastors began the thought of beginning a new convention but I was called by the head of NAMB at that time and asked not to go that direction. We didn't but in many ways I wished we would have.

If I were in FL, I'd join your cause to begin and help lead the cause to get the word around. But as the Lord has it and I am grateful for, I am in NC.

G. Alford said...


I wish you were in Florida!

The Florida Baptist Convention is loosing ground in the State, and this as the population of Florida continues to climb.

The state of Alabama has less than 5 million people and yet it has over 4,000 churches (I believe)... The state of Florida has over 16 million people and around 2,000 churches and a significant portion of these contribute nothing to the convention and do not even bother to send in an ACP each year... But the state still counts them.

Florida needs new life... Florida needs new leadership... Florida needs a new convention.

Grace Always,